The Only Woman in the Room (Hardcover)

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Not due for publication until January 2019, The Only Woman in the Room focuses on the inner life of Hedy Lamarr from her first marriage (at age 19) to an Austrian arms manufacturer and arms dealer just after World War I, up to World War II during her years as a highly sought after movie star in Hollywood.  
     Only recently, has the life of Hedy Lamarr been revealed.  She may have been a “drop-dead-gorgeous” woman, but she was much more than just beautiful; she was a scientist of some repute with patents to her name.  
     Author, Marie Benedict has pieced together a fictional narrative about Hedy Lamarr that may or may not be exact.  But the fact remains that Lamarr’s inventions concerning radio frequency hopping (today called spread-spectrum technology having many applications including cell phone usage) have out-lived her as a contributor to that science, and only recently recognized.
     The novel is divided into two parts, the first, her marriage to and life with Friedrich (Fritz) Mandl in Austria from 1933 to 1937 and the second, her Hollywood years, including her collaboration with composer and musician George Antheil for the invention of radio frequency hopping as a means to foil wartime torpedoes.  The author theorizes that Lamarr had extreme guilt over leaving Europe, and especially the Austrian Jews (of which she was one), in the hands of the Nazis.  She posits that Lamarr’s invention was a direct result of that guilt.  And, in fact, the U.S. Navy was made aware of the invention but turned it down, mainly because (the author says) they thought Hedy would be more valuable selling war bonds than as an inventor.
     Author Benedict has taken a lot of liberties in this narrative, but the book remains fascinating, in particular because of the times we are in and how perceptions of women are changing.  Sometimes, what we see on the outside is just a smoke screen for what’s really on the inside.  A good, fast read. (Benedict also wrote
The Other Einstein)

— From Karen L

February 2019 Indie Next List

The Only Woman in the Room is the story of a woman who recreated herself several times over the course of her lifetime, as an actress who was a constant disappointment to her mother, a wife who learned state secrets about the Nazis, a refugee who convinced a movie mogul to cast her in his films, and a genius who developed a system to track German torpedoes but was turned away by the U.S. military because they believed she was too beautiful to be smart. The story of Hedy Lamarr is so much more than that of a Hollywood actress and war refugee. The fictional account Marie Benedict has woven is insightful, moving, and impossible to put down!”
— Kristin Pidgeon, Riverstone Books, Pittsburgh, PA

Winter 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List

“Marie Benedict has once again brought a deserving woman out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Hedy Lamarr, although well-known for her triumphs on the silver screen, should be featured in history classes for her contributions to science. Compelling, fascinating, and impossible to put down, The Only Woman in the Room is another triumph for Benedict.”
— Mary O'Malley, Anderson's Bookshop (La Grange), La Grange, IL


The New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?

Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.

But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her.

A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece.

Other Bestselling Historical Fiction from Marie Benedict:
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
Lady Clementine
Carnegie's Maid
The Other Einstein

Product Details
ISBN: 9781492666868
ISBN-10: 1492666866
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Pages: 272
Language: English


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